So... Where to begin...? Well I guess I'll start with what's been going on... JK first I want to thank everyone for the Love and support, I hope no one thought I was complaining (well more like frustrated maybe?) or that I was trying to be all dramatic and seek some pity or attention that's not the case, I just say what's been going on and how it is affecting me so yeah. So basically, It's been another usual, repetative week besides conference and the fact I've seen a bunch of kids from school. which is cool. The only other difference was that on friday we had an in-field orientation. which was pretty cool, different kind of learning (less of how to teach and more of everything else) so it was good and they switched it up and so it wasn't the same each segment they taught. we also had like two hours each for lunch and dinner which was awesome, and then conference was pretty cool here at the MTC, I actually paid attention for all of it. And the gym (where they hold the big devotionals and firesides and also conference) was all in shock with the news of the age change for men and got quiet right when he announced the girls age change, then everyone was in more shock. It's pretty crazy and I think will help a lot of men get on there mission.. and giving the girls the chance to serve instead of debate between a mission or marriage. So, Alec... get your papers in so you leave like maybe a week after graduation. Satan is real and he will make your journey harder. I feel bad for the guys who wait a year after graduation to go, I only like four months after graduation and only a month and a half after my call till I entered the MTC, and that about killed me. and Satan tries harder once you get your call, and when you are sitting idle, (like I was) so get on your mission. Satan is just as real here in the MTC. I thought that I wouldn't have to worry about him during my time here but I was wrong, and he's making all of this so much harder than I want right now. So yes there is a stronger spirit but that doesn't mean he won't stop trying and it is hard, and he is always there waiting for his attack. He puts thoughts into my head that just mess with me, get me so worried and sick and then I get frustrated of "why the heck is this in my head, focus Derrek!" and I try hard to not think about things, but it is hard. So Alec and also Calvin (when your time comes) get in fast and you'll be glad you did, I don't want you guys to ever struggle like I did or am. Figure out before you go that this is right, this is all true, gain a testimony and stick with it. I get the lovely chance of doing all of that too late. But at the same time if I wasn't here I'd still be on the couch in AZ, instead of figuring things out and fixing things here where I'm kind of "forced" to. On monday, (yesterday) 6 members of our 10 in our district headed to New Mexico early morning, so we still had class and all that and it was weird with just four of us. And we also got a new teacher for one day... which was also weird. that night though we did have a class with our other teacher Brother Sebesta. (little short dude ha) and it was cool, it was a different kind of lesson. more personal. he had us teach our comp as our comp (not a made up investigator) and the dam broke and all the crap I've been holding in came out through my eyes, nothing has really gotten better with how I feel, I also talked to the psychiatrist again as a check up and told him the same things, and he up'd the dosage of the anti-depressant. we'll see if that has anything. I am going to Ohio tomorrow, we leave at 4am.... it's gonna be a long day... so I packed everything today and am getting things ready. We'll se how the field treats me and if anything starts to change. I need something to click or be fixed so I can function normally. I've been ever so blessed to have every stupid thing on both sides of the family genetics packed down into me... YAY! haha... ugh. whatever, such is life. I'm managing to put one foot in front of the other, I feel I'm blind, I'm trying to have faith and look for answers but have a hard time seeing them or feeling them or even noticing them. (and maybe that's cause my brain isn't working right), but It's the best I feel I can do. I am trying to figure things out, but everything, and I mean everything is a struggle, and I've never felt so hopeless and empty in my life. and I've had low moments but it just keeps getting worse sometimes and It's hard to imagine or see my life being any different than me struggling like this for forever. I want to be happy more than anything and be able to be happy and excited for others but it's all numb or not there. I am blessed with great roomies and teachers and friends here and at home. thank you all for your prayers and love. I'm trying the best I can and praying constantly.... I'm allowed to call home tomorrow if I have time in the airport, so we'll see how that all plays out. It's crazy that I'm done with the MTC.. but I'm still walking and praying, thanks again everyone for the letters, love, and support, I don't want to let you down or dissapoint or make anyone feel I'm just a waste. but yeah, I'm trying... Love you all!
Elder Derrek Bowler.